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How to prepare your Google Analytics 4 property for this Black Friday

Black Friday 2023 is getting closer every day and this year, for those of us who are dedicated to digital marketing, it comes with an important new feature that will undoubtedly give us a lot to talk about in the coming weeks. Analytics GA-4 with all its lights, shadows and loopholes has arrived to settle in our lives for a long time and this November 24 we will subject the platform to its first big test of fire.

It is still a mystery how we will be able to see what is happening on our website in real time beyond the data provided by the backoffice... but let's not lose hope, Google is still optimizing the interface and making "improvements". Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised, even if it is already next year.

However, if we don't want to miss out on the enormous amount of data that is generated these days, even if it is only to analyze with perspective, here we leave you with the basic settings that every Analytics GA-4 property linked to an e-commerce should have in place.

Let's start with the basics:

How to set up the property to automatically measure searches, files and form interaction

Let's go to "Property configuration/Data collection and modifications".

We click on the data flow and we make sure the enhanced measurement is active. This will allow us to automatically measure Web site search events, file downloads, and form interactions, among others. Then click on Configure label settings:

ga4 basic configuration

We click on the little arrow to display the "hidden" options that Google doesn't want us to find and there we arrive at Specify unwanted references:

unwanted references

Here we must exclude those URLs that hinder the correct attribution of the sales of our e-commerce, most of which will be payment gateways. To see which URLs we are talking about, we should take a look at the channel Referral User Acquisition, for example.

How to configure data collection

Go to Property Configuration/Data Collection and Modification/Data Collection

Google Signals must be active to collect demographic and interest data from our website visitors. This also implies that if the traffic is not very large, data thresholds are applied below which Google hides information from us for the "security" of our users.

It is also necessary to make sure that the Consent to user data collection is confirmed (otherwise our Audiences in Google Ads, among other things, will not work).

data collection ga4

We continue with Property Settings/Data Collection and Modification/Data Retention:

Here we must check the highest option that Analytics gives us which is. 14 months. This is the maximum time our users can remain on our remarketing audience lists.

ga4 events

We now move to Property Settings/Data Display/Events:

Let's assume that the event purchase is well configured and that it collects purchases and value correctly. In addition, we should have implemented (and marked as conversion) the view_item, add_to_cart and begin_checkout events. Other recommended ones would be view_item_list, remove_from_cart, add_payment_info, add_shipping_info, etc but to view the data in e-commerce Shopping Cart the first 4 are essential:

ga4 event configuration
ga4 event data

If you do not have these events installed, you should contact your developer to implement them as soon as possible. Once they are ready, they will start to be collected in GA-4 and you will only need to mark them as a conversion. It is also possible to create them easily with Google Tag Manager.

Audience configuration

We now turn to the Hearings found in Property Settings/Data Display/Audiences:

The basic audiences that we must have configured are the general audiences of website users, cart audiences (you must have the add_to_cart event installed), buyers (purchase event)... we also recommend creating abandoned cart audiences, recurring users and any other audience that collects users of your site who have completed some valuable action. Having enabled enhanced measurement, you will also be able to create audiences of users who have performed a search on the site. Importantly, once they have been created, you need to to our Google Ads campaigns which is where they will be most useful to us.

We continue in Data Visualization and we go now with Identity for reportsIn this section we tell GA-4 which signals we want it to take into account when collecting data and whether there are gaps of information, how to solve them. We will briefly explain each one of them since this point is crucial for data analysis:

  • MixingThe first thing Analytics does is to identify the user by User-Id. If we do not collect this parameter, Analytics then asks Google Signals. If we don't have information from Google Signals either, then the Device ID is used. And if all else fails, Analytics will use the following data modeled of similar visitors to make an estimate and fill in the gaps.
  • Observedsimilar to the previous option, but without the option of model data. In case there is no User-Id, Google Signals or Device ID, the information will be lost.
  • Based on the Dispositvo: Google Analytics only takes into account the Device ID to collect the information. Enabling this option, the data looks more like what we used to see in Universal Analytics, so for the moment, for us it is the best option.. If you don't see it, click on the little arrow.

Note that you can switch as many times as you want between these options and make comparisons since the data viewing with each of them is instantaneous and retroactive.

ga4 hearings

Finally, we have to ensure that our Google Analytics property is linked to other Google products (last option in Property Settings). In our case, we are particularly interested in linking to Google Ads, Google Merchant Center and Google Search Console. If you are unable to do this, an Administrator with higher permissions may have to do it for you.

And that's it! Now all that remains is to customize the user interface to put it to our liking, customize the reports and create the scans we deem appropriate. But this is already the subject of another post 😉.

And you, do you miss any configuration that for you is essential? Have you "overlooked" any of them? Tell us in the comments

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